Three major routes into D.C. are completely closed to everyone except buses, limousines, emergency/law enforcement,----and taxicabs. A one and one half mile freeway tunnel, which stretches from the southwest side of the Capitol to the northwest side of it, has been closed off for use as a pedestrian conduit.
Every bridge going into D.C. from Virginia is either closed or severely restricted, except the two on the Beltway, and these do not touch down in D.C. but rather in Maryland.
In fine, the level of security for this Inauguration is quite possibly the most complicated, expansive, restrictive, and massive ever for any public event in the history of this Nation and perhaps in the world. It surpasses the security for the State of the Union speech, when the entire Federal government is gathered together under one roof. Did I say "surpasses"? Sorry. "dwarfs" would be too tame.
Why is this Inauguration different from all other Inaugurations? (and will I find the prize in the Matzoh?) Why all the paranoia? I voiced this in the dispatch room and one of our telephone reps said: "Lotsa people don't like us black folks".
Really? You mean racial and ethnic predjudice and hatred exists? I already knew that. But it seems to me that it has subsided enough in this nation to allow a majority of folks to elect Barack Hussein Obama to be President of the United States. The outpouring of hatred for President Bush did not prompt this level of security at his second Inaugural. And death threats from Clem Kadiddlehopper types need to be taken seriously. But anyone who could get past the normal Inaugural security to do harm is smart enough to get past this dog's breakfast of restrictions. In fact, the restrictions could actually be turned to the advantage of a thinking attacker. (I don't want to give anybody ideas so I wont go into specifics). Sure there are nuts who want to kill Obama. Hells bells, there re nuts who want to kill Richard Nixon, and he has been dead already for some time.
the plain fact is that having folks want to kill you comes with the Office of President of the United States. The day after the Inauguration the bridges will re-open and the security zones will come down and Barack Hussein Obama will be living in a mansion in the middle of a teeming mass of humanity not one individual of with will need a pass or a permit to get within 75 yards of him. Obama is, when all is said and done, just one more schlemozzle in a long line of them to be sworn into office at the Capitol. If this security obsession follows into the next four years, Obama may be the most remote president we have ever had.
- Just a side note: The D.C. Government is issuing special "Provisional Taxi Permits" to taxis and limos to operate inside the restricted areas in the City. Outside drivers must have them. They cost $125. What a bunch of chislers.